Double duty drivers primed for action at Sebring
With a feast of endurance racing action at ‘Super Sebring’ this week, thousands of dedicated spectators are preparing themselves for wall-to-wall sportscar action.
While the infield parties and celebrations spark up, the 11 drivers that are involved in both the 1000 Miles and the 12 Hours of Sebring are grabbing extra gym sessions in preparation.
The drivers pulling double duty at Sebring are: Gabriel Aubry (Jackie Chan DC Racing), Harry Tincknell, Jonathan Bomarito and Olivier Pla (Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK), Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Mike Rockenfeller (Corvette Racing), Renger van der Zande (DragonSpeed), Brendon Hartley (SMP Racing), Matthieu Vaxivière (TDS Racing) and Patrick Lindsey (Team Project 1).
Such a feat of endurance is challenging at the best of times but when it is at Sebring, one of the most physically demanding tracks in the world, the drivers have to manage their nutrition, training and time management.
“Yes it will be tough but we all love driving so it is a pleasure to be in the cockpit,” said Jackie Chan DC Racing driver Gabriel Aubry. "We look after ourselves physically and mentally so it will not be a problem, but of course on Sunday we will need some recovery time for sure.”
Patrick Lindsey will compete in both races and says that a high level of organisation is needed for all the preparation needed to ensure the tight schedule passes off smoothly.
“It will be tough for sure but it is all about the preparation and organisation in every area,” explained Team Project 1 driver, Lindsey. “There has been extra training involved but of course there is nothing like actually been in the car to get properly race fit.”
One driver who has seen it all in the world of endurance racing is Corvette Racing’s Jan Magnussen.
The five-times Sebring class winner first competed at the venue in 1999 and will break the 12 Hours record of consecutive starts this Saturday, eclipsing Johnny O’Connell’s record of 20 starts.
“It is a great opportunity for us to see where we are against the other manufacturers and to also look ahead for Le Mans in June,” said Magnussen. “With the back to back nature of the races on Friday and Saturday it will certainly be demanding and there has been extra training, I think there has to be because here it is a really tough ask for the drivers in just one race - never mind two consecutively."